Good morning! This weekend was kind of fantastic for many reasons. Fun houseguests, delicious meals, swimming and sunning in the bay, pulling fresh veggies out of our garden – there was a lot of unplugged, in-the-moment enjoyment to be had. But on Saturday night, alone at my desk, I found myself spiralling down the old internet ‘inspiration’ (air-quotes here) rabbit-hole, and realized I needed to take a step back.
I’ve been writing this blog for close to three months now so it seemed like an appropriate time to take stock of, and re-assess, a few things. When I started it, I had been feeling quite low. It seemed I hadn’t really been creative on my own terms in a long time, and just needed SOMEWHERE to channel all my restless energy. I wanted to challenge myself in a public forum (even if it was only to a few people following along at the beginning) and just write, photograph, collect and share without having too much of a set agenda.
And the amazing thing is that I feel reborn. Not, uh, in a Christian sense or anything. But I feel an excitement, a purpose, and a satisfaction that’s been missing. My family has crafted an incredible little life for ourselves and in a strange way, The Symmetric has allowed me to appreciate and savour it more.
So the good news is that I will continue to march ahead. I would like to do so with a little more intention, though.
I’ve had people ask, ‘what is the website ultimately about?’ or ‘what is the end-goal in all of this?’ and I’ve just kind of brushed it off because I wasn’t sure what the answer was, or didn’t care to pigeonhole myself when I was still in the early stages, kind of fumbling my way around.
But I think I’m ready to declare at least a few allegiances, plant a flag on this moon, and seriously mix up my metaphors in the service of attempting to describe where I want this blog to go in the future. Stay with me here. I’m sweating a little.
These are the ideas that I keep coming back to. That have the power to give me that uncontrollable, lump-in-my-throat feeling. That leave me actually inspired, instead of inspired-with-a-side-of-envy-or-self-loathing (you know what I’m talking about). That make me reflect on my own life in an intriguing way:
1. The ability to express honesty and vulnerability through creative acts.
2. Seeing how people (especially women and mothers) go about their everyday routines, and how that fits into the bigger picture of their family, career, and identity.
3. The impact of sentimentality and nostalgia in how we connect, process experiences, and enjoy culture.
4. Appreciating simplicity and loveliness but also going further, past the merely ‘pretty’ to find beauty or meaning in things that may feel a bit weird, or uncomfortable.
You may be asking yourself, what the hell does this mean for the blog? Well… I want to share a little more of my own life and inner workings, and profile other interesting people. I want to engage and connect with my readers, asking questions and provoking discussion. And I want to veer away from the blatantly materialistic (OMFG I want this dress!) to feature more truly interesting or unique items with a story behind them, when appropriate.
I promise it will still be fun, and funny, and not all weirdly serious all of a sudden. I just want to dig a little deeper, now and again, and make sure to focus on some of the things that really matter to me. This may not make The Symmetric any easier to categorize (I still don’t know what that proverbial ‘end-goal’ is; Are you a ‘mommy’ blog? A design blog? Aw f&ck), but I hope it will still become a small but thoughtful, humorous, and interesting part of your day. Thanks for listening. I really welcome your comments and feedback! xx Shanan
Image above: Neon text installation by Lee Jung, via Colossal.
ps. The post title is taken from the first line of Wilco’s song, “In a Future Age.”